Canada – Day6 – Weathering Heights WI4

They say not to step into the same river twice – I mostly agree –  unless it’s a Ghost River Wilderness Area.
We’ve revisited the place after scouting it yesterday – this time fully geared up

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

with intentions to either climb Wicked Wanda WI4+  (as seen from the car yesterday, around 40min walk from the car) or a combo of Weathering Heights, III, WI 4 and Anorexia Nervosa, III, WI 4R which are located very close to each other – but around 1h hike from the car – and other direction than Wicked Wanda.

We’ve decided to go for the combo. After a 1h 20 mins walk – which is nothing like we gotten used to (trail is first 1km, then its just hiking up dry river bed)

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

strava-weathering

 

Unfortunately upon arriving to the location we’ve learned that Anorexia wasn’t fully formed and it wasn’t really safe to climb it (the bottom part was missing).

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

We’ve focused our efforts on Weathering Heights:

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

The route itself looks different from what we’ve seen in description – it’s actually 3 pitches:
1st pitch – 35m with bolted belay to the right – lead today by Del.

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

2nd pitch – long 55m with a tree belay to the left – lead by Padriag – he actually climbed it twice today – but more about it later 😉

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

3rd pitch – which not many people do as it’s an easy 15m to another tree belay.

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

Conditions today weren’t great – it was snowing for most of the day – making climbing more challenging –

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

– but also more rewarding once we topped it out!

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

There were 2 real options to abseil –
a) from the tree anchor of the top pitch – with a risk of not reaching the bolted anchors of pitch 1

b) from the tree anchor of the 2nd pitch – but with guaranteed access to the bolts on 2x60m ropes.

We’ve opted on the option b) – PG went first, followed by Del – I went last. We’ve quickly learned that in order to go down that way the rope goes over sharp rock – not ideal, but we just need to be careful. There was also the risk of rope jamming on the pull – and that’s what happened…. pulling yellow, pulling pink, it didn’t go. Someone had to climb the pitch again (nearly 60m!) and investigate.
Padriag quickly volunteered, we’ve setup a semi-self arresting system, that would provide some safety and off he went again.

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

After good 40mins he was back – it turned out that ropes got to the rock groove, and were blocking each other – kind of like in a reverso belay.
He told us that to fix the situation he secured himself with a screw, freed the ropes, built a v-thread, abseiled on it to us – and we’ve abseiled to the bottom.
Good and safe solution to a not that uncommon situation.

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

It was 4.30 pm by the time we got down to the bottom of the climb – so we had to go back to the car, in order to avoid driving in the dark through non-existed road in the middle of nowhere.

From Canada2016-Day06-WeatheringHeights

2h later we were back in The Hostel Bear, Canmore – our home for these 2 weeks.

Leave a Reply